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Friday, September 14, 2012

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games StuG III

Nate Brooks has been around Flames of War and WWPD for a long time. He generously offered to review a Warlord Games StuG III for the site, and after seeing his pics, I happily accepted! Being a review, obviously his opinions are his own and don't reflect anyone else's - I didn't have some of the issues he did with my StuG. At any rate, I hope you all enjoy his article! - Judson

StuG Life, Nate Style

I've been painting Flames of War figures for the past six or seven years so when Warlord Games announced the release of their Bolt Action game I was excited to finally have a good reason to pick up some 28mm tanks.

Anyone familiar with the Flames of War StuG III won't need much help assembling the Bolt Action version.  The components and assembly are nearly identical to its 15mm counterpart.  You start with the hull, a blocky hunk of resin on which all the other components will attach. 

John Spencer StuG Explosion

The tracks are mostly one piece and attach on the side in the same fashion as Flames of War tanks.  The front drive wheel and the rear guide have metal facings that attach seamlessly to add a nice bit of detail to the kit. The schurtzen attach to the tracks in the same way as the old Battlefront schurtzen with the addition of metal pieces to attach to the hull. 

In case you we wondering, those are straight chrome 20"s. They were sold out of spinners.

The gun barrel goes on front, hatches on the top and the spare tires on the back glue into little peg holes on the hull.  The worst thing about assembly is the antennae mounts on the back of superstructure.  The pieces are only a couple of millimeters in size and the hole they rest in is so close to the hull that you can't hold on to the piece with your fingers and get it in place, tweezers are required. 

Since there are no windows to tint, the glasses on the periscope are tinted.

There are a few other downsides to the kit that I thought were worth mentioning.  The most glaring issue was that one of the tracks was warped, leaving a small gap between the hull and track section.  Anyone who's assembled resin models will know that this can be fixed by soaking it in boiling water or warming it up with a hair drier.  A small piece of track was broken as well, but I don't think it was a big enough issue to try and fix.

Parallel parking fail.
Yep. That's going to need some boiling water.

The other issue I had, which has nothing to do with assembly, is that the kit doesn't come with a machine gun mount for the top of the vehicle.  I don't think Warlord sells a separate bit for this so I'm not exactly sure how this got left off.

On the bright side, the casting was clean and crisp.  There were only a few mold lines and resin chunks to clean up.  Assembly was easy and intuitive.  The scale is great and it looks good mixed with the troops.  The price is reasonable at $32 msrp but you can look around to find it cheaper (I got mine at for $25.99)

Should've paid for the anti-rust undercoating.
In conclusion, I'd give this kit 8.5 out of 10 doughboys ducking for cover.  Its a great value, easy to assemble and the casting is incredible.  I'd probably give it a 9.5 if if included that machine-gun, that seems like a big oversight to me.  I'll probably order a few more of their kits in the future (that Wittman tiger is calling my name).

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